Julie Ussery

Julie Ussery


Talking Tech

Students with speech and language disorders communicate differently from their peers. Communication disorders significantly erode student confidence. Early intervention in an engaging and motivational environment can reduce communication disorders in children and adolescents. Communication is an essential life skill affecting every aspect of academic success. Communication disorders not only affect oral/verbal communication but written communication as well. Good communication, oral and written, is necessary in the development of soft skills, attributes that enable someone to interact effectively with other people. Good communication is essential in high school to assure college and career readiness. There is a push for educators and therapists to integrate technology into their service delivery model. Budget cuts and lack of funding makes technology integration difficult to achieve for non-traditional classroom teachers and therapists. Speech therapy utilizing innovative technology will increase student learning, build confidence, ensure school success, and give students tools they need to combat their speech disorders for the rest of their lives; college, careers and beyond. This grant will be utilized to purchase an iPad, a durable case, Bluetooth keyboard, Speech and Language Apps, Augmentative Communication Apps, books, music and interactive storybooks to use in the speech therapy resource room. Implementing technology will allow the therapist to provide more intense speech therapy services that uniquely tailor to individual student needs and learning styles. Not only will the iPads impact those students on our current caseload, but will continue to be utilized for years to come. Research has proved that early intervention programs demonstrated significant and often sizable benefits in at least one of the following domains: cognition and academic achievement, behavioral and emotional competencies, educational progression and attainment, and labor market success. In adults, good communication skills are essential for both labor market and social relationship success. Though we will focus on speech and language development in our pre-school thru 8th grade students, the art of communication continues to evolve through high school, college and life experiences. The following research question will guide my study of this innovation: Will utilizing an iPad various ways during speech/language therapy improve overall student communication performance and accelerate progress toward mastery of IEP goals? During speech and language therapy, we will use the iPad as a way to deliver therapy services, track progress data, motivate students, allow for student creativity, access online games and activities, record individual video clips documenting articulation progress, use the camera for capturing pictures for PECS, research core content information and perform a student directed approach to therapy. As you can imagine, the possibilities are endless. To gauge effectiveness of this innovation grant, baseline data will be collected on current targeted IEP goals prior to implementing iPads during therapy. Data will then be collected during therapy sessions for progress monitoring while utilizing the iPad. I expect to see an increase in individual communication skills, progression toward individual IEP goals and improvement in student’s overall speech sound production and language skills thus increasing academic success leading to college and career readiness. While we cannot control external factors, research has shown that students who have access to technology are more engaged, have reduced levels of frustration, increase in coping skills, and tend to have more appropriate behavior. By using an iPad in innovative ways during therapy, we hope students show an increase in overall percentage rates of meeting communication goals and objectives as outlined in their IEP’s. This will increase student confidence and support academic success leading to college and career readiness for students with communication disorders.

All sessions by Julie Ussery

Concourse C – Breakout Segment B

16 Apr 2019
10:30 am-11:45 am
Concourse C